Thursday, January 29, 2009

Case Against WELS High School in California Thrown Out by Appeaals Court



Some very funny cartoons and photos were rejected in favor of this one.


Court Rejects Suit Over School’s Expulsion of Alleged Lesbians

By STEVEN M. ELLIS, Staff Writer

Two students expelled from a private Lutheran high school in Riverside County over an alleged lesbian relationship cannot sue for invasion of privacy or discrimination under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, the Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

Concluding that the school—like the Boy Scouts of America—is not a “business enterprise” subject to the act, Div. Two upheld a judgment against the students, whose relationship was exposed by another student’s tip about postings on social networking website MySpace.com.

The board of directors of the 142-student California Lutheran High School in Wildomar voted to expel the two girls in 2005 after Principal Gregory Bork determined they shared what he called in a letter to the girls’ parents, “a bond of intimacy…characteristic of a lesbian relationship” in violation of the school’s “Christian Conduct” rule.

Affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Synod and the Wisconsin Lutheran Synod, which view homosexuality as a sin, the school has a policy of refusing admission to homosexual students, and its conduct rule warned students of possible expulsion for immoral or scandalous conduct on or off campus.

The girls claimed they were subjected to an intrusive interrogation by Bork without their parents’ knowledge or consent, and they also brought claims for public disclosure of private facts, violation of their state constitutional right to privacy, and false imprisonment. They also asserted the school was a business operator subject to the Unruh Act because it collected fees and accepted students without regard to religious affiliation.

After the California Supreme Court declined to intervene upon the Court of Appeal’s denial of the school’s writ petition to scuttle the lawsuit in 2006, the case returned to Riverside Superior Court Judge Gloria Trask, who ruled the school was not a business and granted summary judgment.

On appeal, Justice Betty Ann Richli—emphasizing that the Court of Appeal’s opinion was based on statutory interpretation, not the justices’ views on the policy’s wisdom or morality—agreed, pointing to the California Supreme Court’s determination in Curran v. Mount Diablo Council of the Boy Scouts (1998) 17 Cal.4th 670 that the Boy Scouts were not a business establishment under the Unruh Act.

Noting further that the California Attorney General opined in 1998 that, under Curran, the admission decisions of a private religious school are not subject to the act, Richli rejected the students’ claims to the extent they were based on the Unruh Act.

The justice wrote, however, that the court’s opinion did not address the school’s argument that the Unruh Act would violate its right to freedom of expressive association, as well as the right to control the education of one’s child, if construed to prohibit it from discriminating based on sex or sexual orientation.

Presiding Justice Manuel A. Ramirez and Justice Douglas P. Miller joined Richli in her opinion.

Attorneys Christopher J. Nelson, and Michael J. Grace of the San Diego firm of Grace Hollis & Hanson LLP represented the plaintiffs, while attorneys John P. McKay and Michael P. Acain of the Los Angeles firm of McKay, Graham & de Lorimier represented the defendants.

The case is Doe v. California Lutheran High School Association, E044811.

---

Anonymouse has left a new comment on your post "Case Against WELS High School in California Thrown...":

What is the point of posting this?

***

GJ - The story is WELS news, from a newspaper. FIC should report it as well.

ELCA was successfully sued for $40 million for letting a homosexual predator become ordained and prey upon youth. They reported the news through their own news service.

My work would be reduced if people handled their own jobs better.

Besides, I am a baby journalist with 20+ hours earned so far in J-school. Bow down.

---

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Case Against WELS High School in California Thrown...":

I believe the question, "What is the point of posting this?", was to Mr. Meyer's post regarding Thrivent. I must admit that I don't understand the point either.

To the issue of WELS reporting this, the press release copied below was on the front page of the synod web site before Greg posted his story. (www.wels.net)

For immediate release
January 29, 2009

Contact:
Mr. Joel Hochmuth
Director of Communications
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
414-256-3230
joel.hochmuth@sab.wels.net

WELS president reacts to ruling in favor of California Lutheran High School

Rev. Mark Schroeder, president of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, is reacting to an appellate court decision in favor of California Lutheran High School in Wildomar, Calif., in an anti-discrimination lawsuit.

In 2005, the school expelled two students for engaging in conduct characteristic of a lesbian relationship, in violation of the school's Christian Code of Conduct. The parents of the two girls sued, claiming discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal in San Bernardino ruled Monday that California Lutheran High School—operated by an association of WELS and Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS) congregations—is a social organization entitled to follow its own principles, not a business subject to state anti-discrimination laws. The ruling upholds a 2008 lower court ruling.

"Our prayers continue to be with California Lutheran High School as it defends our right to practice our faith and follow our beliefs," says Schroeder."WELS has clearly stated that we hold to the biblical teaching that homosexual practices are wrong and not in keeping with God's Word. We have taken that position in love—both for God's Word and God's truth, as well as for those who have fallen into the sin of homosexuality."

"While some in our society would view this stand as bigoted and unloving, we maintain that our beliefs are drawn from the teachings of the Bible," he says. "We also maintain that our goal is not merely to condemn sinful behavior, but to reach out to all sinners with God's call to repentance and his assurance of forgiveness in Christ."

***

GJ - I know Thrivent, when it was AAL, sponsored a pro-homosexual workshop in Columbus, Ohio, already in the 1980s. For more information, read Richard Starr's Speaking the Unspeakable, or as one wit renamed it: Thpeaking the Untwpeakable. Maybe that was the point.

---

Anonymouse has left a new comment on your post "Case Against WELS High School in California Thrown...":

I guess WELS can't do anything right, huh Greg? Now they are not reacting fast enough. Like they don't have better things to do and satisfy Greg Jackson's impatience too. You must be ADHD.

I still don't get why the article got posted in the first place. A court rules in WELS favor for taking a Biblical stand and this is bad in some way? You remind me of the joker in The Dark Knight. He didn't take anyone's side either.

***

GJ - The Force not strong with this one is.
Post a Comment